10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is fulfilling the law. 11Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.12The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.13Let us walk properly as in daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. —Romans 13:10-14
Is life really that meaningless? Are we here simply to pass time and take up space? No way! God has much more in mind for each of His children. In Romans 13:10-14, the apostle Paul gives three admonitions that move us in the right direction.
First, we must WAKE UP. Look at verse 11. Have you ever slept through your alarm in the morning and awakened too late for work or school? Well, in a spiritual sense, this is the exact situation that Paul is calling us to avoid. Our ultimate salvation—that moment when we meet Christ, either at His return or in our death—is drawing closer, moment by moment. And yet, many believers are “sleeping in,” so to speak. Are you in this group? Are you taking a long nap when you should be taking hold of the Lord? If so, I exhort you to WAKE UP.
Second, Paul tells us to CLEAN UP. Look at verses 12-13. Christ is returning soon to forever rid this world of sin, but we should live as though that day were already here. How? By stripping off the “deeds of darkness”—improper pursuit of fulfillment, sexual sin, and relational sin are mentioned here—and instead, suiting up for battle in the armor of God’s light (see Ephesians 6:10-17). Are you taking off your dirty, smelly clothes each day and replacing them with a fresh, new battle uniform? Or are you still soiled and impure before the Lord? God is instructing you to CLEAN UP.
Third, in verse 14 we are called to GROW UP. I don’t know about you, but I was a fairly mischievous kid. Sadly, many of us need this reminder spiritually. We must not even consider how we can satisfy our sinful cravings—in other words, we must make no allowances for failure. He must be in charge of every aspect of our lives. Does this describe you? Are you deliberately and consciously avoiding every opportunity for your flesh to fail? Are you growing in submission to Christ’s authority over your life? God wants you to GROW UP.
Let’s get serious about spiritual maturity! Don’t settle for less than God’s very best in your life. Don’t just pass time and take up space. It’s time to WAKE UP, CLEAN UP, and GROW UP for the glory of God. —James MacDonald
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I do want to be serious about my relationship with You. Forgive me when I don’t really even think about the decisions I am making. Thank You for Your Words to WAKE UP, CLEAN UP and GROW UP. I will need Your help with this, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.